Cultura Clash recorded a live episode at the Billboard Latin Music Week, where artists gathered to speak on colorism and representation in Latin music and media on Wednesday (Sept. 28).
Encanto star Mauro Castillo, influencer and singer Kunno and recording artist Yendry are opening new doors for artists who have long been marginalized. But is the industry doing its part in order to achieve real representation?
This episode is part of the second season of Cultura Clash, a video series — hosted by Latin executive AJ Ramos — that spotlights Latin artists and influencers who discuss trending topics within the Latin culture and music.
For 30 years, Billboard Latin Music Week has been the longest running and biggest Latin music industry gathering in the world. It will also dovetail with the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards on Sept. 29, in Miami. The Billboard Latin Music Awards will broadcast live on Telemundo, and will also broadcast simultaneously on the Spanish entertainment cable network, Universo, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Telemundo Internacional.
Latin Music Week takes place from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1 with star-studded panels. Additionally, a lineup of events that includes superstar concerts, intimate showcases and new music premieres by Bizarrap, Elena Rose, Camilo and Mariah Angeliq. BRESH will throw the ultimate closing party at Oasis, in Miami’s artistic neighborhood of Wynwood.
Below are five standout quotes from Cultura Clash at Latin Music Week:
KUNNO: “When I started on TikTok, I was like, ‘Wow, I’m really doing it.’ There are a lot of eyes on me. This new generation is exploring themselves so they’re more accepting. I’m here to say dreams come true.”
YENDRY: “As a kid, I used to be in front of a TV watching MTV a lot. But I didn’t feel like there was a lot of representation of myself in music. Until I saw J. Lo, who was one of the first ones. She’s Latina, an amazing singer. I thought, ‘Maybe it can happen to me.’ She was one of the first ones though. And when I started my project, Dominican Republic girls started messaging me saying that they loved seeing my curls out.”
YENDRY: “As a female that’s seen white princesses, [seeing more representation in these live action remakes] is a huge moment for us. And even cartoons like Encanto or Coco are impacting a lot for young kids … Kids are the future and a we got to represent more. The [Little] Mermaid is a cartoon, it’s a fairy tale. Nobody really decided what color she was. She can be anything.”
CASTILLO: “My advice? You need to be prepared. You need to be prepared for your opportunity and if not, you will build it. This is about the capacity that we have to do our best … There’s an opportunity to grow this story [or Afro-Latinos] and we’re here, telling the world who we are and that we are enough.”
KUNNO: “When I was little, I always wanted a pink car, Barbies, all of that and people were like, ‘No, you’re wrong.’ And now with my music, I’m showing it’s not wrong … It’s been wonderful because I can really be myself … I was chatting with some people before and I think we as Latins, as queer people, whoever we are, we really need to have our values. We need to be ourselves, and a lot of people aren’t because they’re scared and they’re in boxes that don’t exist anymore, that’s in the past. And kiss whoever you want to kiss.”
— Additional reporting by Lyndsey Havens